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2014 ECF Princess Margriet Award Back

2014 ECF Princess Margriet Award

18 Mar 2014

The 2014 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture was presented to Teatro Valle Occupato from Rome and Teodor Celakoski from Zagreb at an official ceremony at BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, in Brussels on 18 March 2014.


In going beyond the traditional spheres of culture, Teodor Celakoski and Teatro Valle Occupato show us how collective forms of action can tangibly influence a wider civil sphere. As the economic crisis leads to public spending cuts in many countries, citizens and collectives are mobilising to create urgently needed organisational alternatives that reclaim cultural practice from neoliberal governmentality and marketisation.

2014 Award Jury

  • Bojana Cvejić, Performance theorist and maker, Brussels/Belgrade
  • Rana Zincir Celal, Program Manager, Columbia Global Centers | Turkey and Executive Board Member, Anadolu Kultur
  • Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern, London
  • Christian Esch, Director, NRW Kultursekretariat, Wuppertal
  • Els van der Plas, General Director, Muziektheater, Amsterdam


Opening with defiant drum rolls from techno-percussive duo N.M.O, the tone was set for handing over the 2014 Princess Margriet Award to this year’s laureates.

The awards came in the shape of specially crafted tuning forks mounted on a sound box. They were handed out by HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, the European Cultural Foundation’s former President, in the Horta Hall in BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels.

In her opening address, the European Cultural Foundation’s current President HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands drew parallels between BOZAR’s impressive hall at the heart of cultural life and Brussels, packed with more than 350 people, and the ancient Greek agora – a gathering place where crowds of people would assemble to exchange goods and discuss all kinds of topics, from business to politics, from the daily news to the universe and the divine.

The European Cultural Foundation’s  Director Katherine Watson guided the audience through the evening’s proceedings, explaining that, although this year’s laureates come from a very specific local context, they each reflect a wider movement of citizen engagement from around Europe and across the globe.

Members of Teatro Valle Occupato – described by guest speaker Professor Ugo Mattei as “heroes of our time” – also shared their award via live Skype link with some of the 5,000-strong activists in Rome who have occupied one of Italy’s most prestigious theatres for the past three years.

In accepting his award, laureate Teodor Celakoski acknowledged that the recognition was hugely encouraging for the collective movement he has helped to set in motion.

Member of the jury Bojana Cvejic reading from the jury motivation said “Both of this year’s laureates show us how shared forms of action – from within and beyond the sphere of culture – can inspire us all to become more directly involved in the political decision-making that shape our lives. In a wider context of European crisis and austerity, they show us how culture can animate the public sphere.”

Read the report and watch the video.

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